TomS

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Re. VGAS, has anyone seen any illustrations or models of DD-21 with VGAS rather than AGS? I'd like to know what those initial designs would have looked like.

Early concept design showing AGS (VGAS) combined with a single trainable gun (probably a 5-inch Mk 45 with a low-RCS enclosure).

This would not have represented anything that was actually proposed by industry, since AGS became a trainable gun-launcher before the requirement went out to competition.
That's frustratingly vague. I guess I had the timeline wrong. I thought the CG/DD-21 designs were being developed with VGAS, then Congress forced the switch to AGS and the designs changed. I'd also really like to see a plan view of that illustration. I can't really see where the VLS modules are supposed to go in relation to the helipad and hangar. It seems the concept was not as well developed as I thought it was.

There was never more than a vague idea of a design until the Navy put DD-21 out to tender, which was actually a big part of the problem.

So, the Navy did the SC-021 COEA in 1995-1996. That came up with a huge range of possible designs (none developed past general arrangements). Some of these had either VGAS or just excess VLS that could be replaced by VGAS. But none actually became SC-21 (COEA Concept 3B1: Littoral Combatant was close but had 5-inch guns.)

There was a pause in SC-21 in 1996 while Borda pushed ArShip. After his suicide, SC-21 restarted and produced a new OPerational Requirements Document in 1997.

VGAS became AGS in mid to late 1998, largely under congressional pressure, IIRC.

In 1998, DoD (Under Secretary for Acquisition and Technology Jacques Gansler) was pushing the Navy to adopt a new highly contractor-dependent design process (which became official in August 1998). In a departure from past practice, the Navy left even preliminary design to the contractors and only had a list of specified equipment and operational requirements for the contractors to meet. The DD-21 contractor teams started work in (I think) early 2000, with the goal of getting to a selection by April 2001.

So VGAS was dead before the shipbuilders had serious public thoughts about ship arrangements.
 

1635yankee

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How about a 1,180 mile rg 203mm ERCA II (formerly SLRC) as a new AGS?
Would the Zumwalt have stability to take the top weight of the heavy 1,000 nm cannon with it's tumblehome hull.

If the Navy had had any sense they would have fitted the existing Mk71 8" 55 caliber gun with new ballistic sub caliber round for range instead reaching for the sky and spending a $billion or so on the AGS 155mm with its LRLAP round only for it to turn out so expensive that it had to be canned.
1000 nm? That would be 1000 nanometers, so that's not likely to be a problem ;)

More seriously, I tend to agree that reviving the 8 in MCLWG may have been better than the AGS. I also tend to think that the raison d'etre for installing the AGS onto a very expensive warship put the DDX into a position where it was, in many ways, a one-trick pony, far too focused on fire support. Yes, I realize that much of any navy's job is to project power ashore, but it's certainly not a navy's only job, and the DDX seems to be too focused on that one role.
 

TomS

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More seriously, I tend to agree that reviving the 8 in MCLWG may have been better than the AGS. I also tend to think that the raison d'etre for installing the AGS onto a very expensive warship put the DDX into a position where it was, in many ways, a one-trick pony, far too focused on fire support. Yes, I realize that much of any navy's job is to project power ashore, but it's certainly not a navy's only job, and the DDX seems to be too focused on that one role.

Without a guided round, an 8-inch MCLWG would have accomplished essentially the same portion of the USMC fire support requirements as a 5-inch Mk45. Which is to say, almost none.

But to complain that AGS made DD(X) a "one-trick pony" is to miss every other capability in the ship. Must have been another thread where I pointed out that if you look at the DD-21/DD(X) requirements, in almost every mission area, they are "Like a Spruance but better." The exceptions are ASuW, where they left out ASCMs (but then, so did a big portion of the DDG-51 fleet), and AAW, where they radically upped the requirement from "barely capable of self defense" to "very capable including some local area defense."

The Navy's mistake (OK, one of several) was not in over-specializing the design, it was in over-specializing the sales pitch. By calling the Zumwalts Land-Attack Destroyers, Navy leadership gave far too many people the idea that they couldn't do anything else. The earlier Power Projection Combatant might have been a better pitch. But they got hit by the Rumsfeld truck plus 9/11 and never figured out how to recover.
 

apparition13

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Mk-71 needed to be deployed on Spruance. Add 20 years of development and I can easily see a 8" guided ramjet round that could meet the USMC proposal. Stick one of those on a PPC or other COEA combatant (my favorite is the Aviation Cruiser) and AGS and VGAS are redundant.

Since Mk-71 was also capable of fitting in a 64-cell Mk41 space (see the modular Burke drawings) it wouldn't need a ship to be built around it like AGS did. You could stick one on one of the larger COEA designs, or CGBL, or even a Burke, though taking another page from the modular Brooke playbook I'd delete the hangars for a second 32 cell Mk41.
 

TomS

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Mk-71 needed to be deployed on Spruance. Add 20 years of development and I can easily see a 8" guided ramjet round that could meet the USMC proposal. Stick one of those on a PPC or other COEA combatant (my favorite is the Aviation Cruiser) and AGS and VGAS are redundant.

But does this seem very realistic? For starters, no one yet has fielded a ramjet artillery shell and there's nothing about MCLWG that would magically make that happen.

Assuming the USN deployed Mk 71 on the DD-963s, that's ~30 tubes at sea. Maybe you also get a tranche of DDG-51s with the 8-inch gun forward replacing the 5-inch gun and 32 VLS. (But only if you've demonstrated the value of the 8-inch gun. Maybe off Lebanon, in place of the battleship?). And hopefully you get the laser-guided projectile for them, but it's far from guaranteed. See Deadeye for one way that could play out instead.

But I don't see there being money or ability to develop a hyper-long-range ramjet shell when the Navy couldn't even do LRLAP right, which should have been much simpler.

The COEA ships were, frankly, weird. Especially the 3A series of giant cruisers. They never made much sense unless you were going to totally tear up the Navy's force structure and start over. And why you'd want a aviation cruiser with a dozen helicopters to also be standing inshore to deliver shore bombardment is unclear to me. (it makes about as much sense at the 5-inch guns on the LHA-1s)

Something in the range of 3B1 (Littoral Combatant) or 3C1 (Maritime Combatant) make a lot more sense to me as a ship to follow the DDG-51 into production and replace the Spruances. (And 3B1 is close to what they got, but with AGS instead of 5-inch guns, and much more stealth)

Since Mk-71 was also capable of fitting in a 64-cell Mk41 space (see the modular Burke drawings) it wouldn't need a ship to be built around it like AGS did. You could stick one on one of the larger COEA designs, or CGBL, or even a Burke, though taking another page from the modular Brooke playbook I'd delete the hangars for a second 32 cell Mk41.

Any time you delete hangars from a modern escort, I think it's a mistake. Because the helo ends up being the most versatile asset on the ship.
 
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apparition13

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Mk-71 needed to be deployed on Spruance. Add 20 years of development and I can easily see a 8" guided ramjet round that could meet the USMC proposal. Stick one of those on a PPC or other COEA combatant (my favorite is the Aviation Cruiser) and AGS and VGAS are redundant.

But does this seem very realistic? For starters, no one yet has fielded a ramjet artillery shell and there's nothing about MCLWG that would magically make that happen.
Fifty years of development? Start with a naval copperhead. Later add base bleed, then rocket assist. Take the MM seeker from the Wasp missile to make an anti-ship shell. Maybe experiment with IR seekers from Sidewinders, or the radar seeker from the RAM to see if guided AA shells are useful. Work your way around to a ramjet. What the 8" gives you over the 5" shell is a lot more cross section area and volume to work with. I'm not saying you would field a fully functional ramjet by 1980, but perhaps after 30-40 years one might be in service by 2000-2010. It is a technological path not taken; who knows where it might be now if we had gone down it then.
Assuming the USN deployed Mk 71 on the DD-963s, that's ~30 tubes at sea. Maybe you also get a tranche of DDG-51s with the 8-inch gun forward replacing the 5-inch gun and 32 VLS. (But only if you've demonstrated the value of the 8-inch gun. Maybe off Lebanon, in place of the battleship?). And hopefully you get the laser-guided projectile for them, but it's far from guaranteed. See Deadeye for one way that could play out instead.

But I don't see there being money or ability to develop a hyper-long-range ramjet shell when the Navy couldn't even do LRLAP right, which should have been much simpler.
Maybe, but if development starts during the Cold War, it might have had better funding early, so more momentum overall, and gone to completion by 2000 or so. Or not. Maybe it doesn't work at all.
The COEA ships were, frankly, weird. Especially the 3A series of giant cruisers. They never made much sense unless you were going to totally tear up the Navy's force structure and start over. And why you'd want a aviation cruiser with a dozen helicopters to also be standing inshore to deliver shore bombardment is unclear to me. (it makes about as much sense at the 5-inch guns on the LHA-1s)
I wouldn't. The CGH (I think that's the natural designation for the aviation cruiser) would be a carrier escort and battlefleet combatant, and if I could get a PPS and something like a more heavily armed Hyuga for about the same cost I'd take that instead. Littoral combat is way down on my list of naval missions.

Incidentaly, the PPC design was 28 feet longer and 500 tons lighter than Zumwalt, so htey are about the same size. However, because the PPC is basically a supersized Tico, I suspect it would have been much cheaper to build, so many more, perhaps even the full program, might have been built.

Any time you delete hangars from a modern escort, I think it's a mistake. Because the helo ends up being the most versatile asset on the ship.
If you have a CGH or a Hyuga (which with more missile cells would be an actual Spruance replacement in the ASW role) you can afford to have some task force ships without Helicopters. Or keep the hangar, and carry less missiles. Or keep the hangar, and delete the 5" for more missiles. That's the thing about the modular Burke design, there are so many possible configurations.
 

TomS

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Fifty years of development? Start with a naval copperhead. Later add base bleed, then rocket assist. Take the MM seeker from the Wasp missile to make an anti-ship shell. Maybe experiment with IR seekers from Sidewinders, or the radar seeker from the RAM to see if guided AA shells are useful. Work your way around to a ramjet. What the 8" gives you over the 5" shell is a lot more cross section area and volume to work with. I'm not saying you would field a fully functional ramjet by 1980, but perhaps after 30-40 years one might be in service by 2000-2010. It is a technological path not taken; who knows where it might be now if we had gone down it then.

This seems to be very optimistic to me.

There was a fairly extensive program for cannon-launched guided projectiles in the early 1970s. In fact, the MCLWG on USS Hull fired 5 "Paveway" guided rounds against a ship target with good effect. So clearly, it was possible. But there were comparable 5-inch versions as well (including both laser and IR guided rounds). They all died out from the mid 1970s to early 1980s due to lack of funding and/or technological immaturity. I don't see how having the 8-inch MCLWG would make guided projectile programs more likely to succeed.

Incidentaly, the PPC design was 28 feet longer and 500 tons lighter than Zumwalt, so htey are about the same size. However, because the PPC is basically a supersized Tico, I suspect it would have been much cheaper to build, so many more, perhaps even the full program, might have been built.

The steel isn't the cause of DD-21's cost issues. The Power Projection Ship has just as much expensive "stuff" in it as a DDG-1000, especially assuming you still tried to do things like field a new radar suite on the ship as they planned for DD-21.
 

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It's worth pointing out that the radar arrays if the COEA designs were smaller than those intended for DD-21, and that they would likely have grown in size in the ships were intended to be realistically built, which would have, in turn, driven up ship size even more.
 

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It's worth pointing out that the radar arrays if the COEA designs were smaller than those intended for DD-21, and that they would likely have grown in size in the ships were intended to be realistically built, which would have, in turn, driven up ship size even more.
Maybe, Might have had it drop from 8 arrarys to 6.

Or 3 big ones.
 

A Tentative Fleet Plan

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It's worth pointing out that the radar arrays if the COEA designs were smaller than those intended for DD-21, and that they would likely have grown in size in the ships were intended to be realistically built, which would have, in turn, driven up ship size even more.
Maybe, Might have had it drop from 8 arrarys to 6.

Or 3 big ones.
The COEA designs, DD-21, DD(X), CG(X) and the Zumwalts were all originally intended to have separate S-Band and X-Band arrays, so the absolute minimum number of arrays was going to be 6. Even then, the COEA design's radars were much smaller than those intended for the later ships, and would have almost certainly grown as the designs were developed to become more realistic.
 

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Navy seemed to have revived interest in a Future X-band Radar, FXR, to replace the AN/SPQ-9 which dates back to the '80s, the FXR RFI originally released in Feb 2018 and has been re-issued Jan 2022, no mention of the SPY-3 X-band fitted to Zumwalt, did see mention Navy thinking to replace the SPY-3 on the Zumwalts.

 

TomS

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Navy seemed to have revived interest in a Future X-band Radar, FXR, to replace the AN/SPQ-9 which dates back to the '80s, the FXR RFI originally released in Feb 2018 and has been re-issued Jan 2022, no mention of the SPY-3 X-band fitted to Zumwalt, did see mention Navy thinking to replace the SPY-3 on the Zumwalts.


FXR as a replacement to SPG-9B is a relatively small and short-range radar for horizon and sea surface search (sea skimmers, boats, periscopes, etc.). It would not really be a replacement for SPY-3, which (now) has been tweaked for long-range volume search.

If the Navy did replace SPY-3 in the Zs (not holding my breath), it would almost have to be with some version of SPY-6/EASR, maybe with an SPQ-9 or FXR added.

Here is SPQ-9 (to be replaced by FXR) on the notional DDG(X), to give a sense of how it would fit.

1645801421055.png
 
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A Tentative Fleet Plan

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Let's hope that the next generation Guided Missile Destroyer is not as expensive as the Zumwalt class has proven to be.
That's what happens when all your R&D only gets spread across a small percentage of a planned buy. (See B-2, Seawolf, F-22, etc.)
Or when you don’t get creative with your finances and dump the R&D into a general R&D budget.
 

sferrin

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Let's hope that the next generation Guided Missile Destroyer is not as expensive as the Zumwalt class has proven to be.
That's what happens when all your R&D only gets spread across a small percentage of a planned buy. (See B-2, Seawolf, F-22, etc.)
Or when you don’t get creative with your finances and dump the R&D into a general R&D budget.
If it's for items that could be used in other classes you'd want to do that.
 

starviking

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Let's hope that the next generation Guided Missile Destroyer is not as expensive as the Zumwalt class has proven to be.
That's what happens when all your R&D only gets spread across a small percentage of a planned buy. (See B-2, Seawolf, F-22, etc.)
Or when you don’t get creative with your finances and dump the R&D into a general R&D budget.
If it's for items that could be used in other classes you'd want to do that.
Depends on how wide you want to throw the net: “lessons learned” class would fit the bill.
 

donnage99

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Not managing the project with the self-control of a kid with a platinum card in a candy shop would also help.
The project as far as I know was going thru R&D quite well in comparison to other big budget programs until the navy decided that a whole new class of capital ships dedicated to coastal bombardment is a bad idea and cut the purchase number.
 

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Not managing the project with the self-control of a kid with a platinum card in a candy shop would also help.
The project as far as I know was going thru R&D quite well in comparison to other big budget programs until the navy decided that a whole new class of capital ships dedicated to coastal bombardment is a bad idea and cut the purchase number.

Is there any ideas as to how many Zumwalt destroyers the US Navy were originally going to purchase?
 

sferrin

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Not managing the project with the self-control of a kid with a platinum card in a candy shop would also help.
The project as far as I know was going thru R&D quite well in comparison to other big budget programs until the navy decided that a whole new class of capital ships dedicated to coastal bombardment is a bad idea and cut the purchase number.

Is there any ideas as to how many Zumwalt destroyers the US Navy were originally going to purchase?
32
 

FighterJock

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Not managing the project with the self-control of a kid with a platinum card in a candy shop would also help.
The project as far as I know was going thru R&D quite well in comparison to other big budget programs until the navy decided that a whole new class of capital ships dedicated to coastal bombardment is a bad idea and cut the purchase number.

Is there any ideas as to how many Zumwalt destroyers the US Navy were originally going to purchase?
32

Thanks sferrin, it’s a pity that the US Navy never stuck to the original plan, I hope that the next destroyer does not meet the same fate.
 

sferrin

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Not managing the project with the self-control of a kid with a platinum card in a candy shop would also help.
The project as far as I know was going thru R&D quite well in comparison to other big budget programs until the navy decided that a whole new class of capital ships dedicated to coastal bombardment is a bad idea and cut the purchase number.

Is there any ideas as to how many Zumwalt destroyers the US Navy were originally going to purchase?
32

Thanks sferrin, it’s a pity that the US Navy never stuck to the original plan, I hope that the next destroyer does not meet the same fate.
132 B-2s
750 F-22s
29 SSN-21s
:(
 

TomS

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Let's hope that the next generation Guided Missile Destroyer is not as expensive as the Zumwalt class has proven to be.

I have some rambling thoughts on DDG(X) and what it may signal for the Navy's shipbuilding effort in the wake of DD-21.

Consider the number of new weapons or technologies planned to be introduced in DD-21/DD(X). This is a partial list of the technologies that were being tested during development.
1645975624326.png

The picture isn't quite a complete list, even.
  • Tumblehome wave piercing hullform (for both stealth and seakeeping)
  • Composite deckhouse (one of the largest composite structures ever made)
  • Reducing manning (including automatic firefighting and damage control)
  • Total Ship Computing Environment (TSCE) (basically a whole new combat system architecture)
  • Common Display System (control anything from any console)
  • Integrated Power System including Permanent Magnet Motors (replaced by Advanced Induction Motors)
  • MT30 prime mover MTGs (first application, IIRC)
  • Dual-Band Radar (S-Band and X-Band with integrated waveforms)
  • Integrated apertures (comms, navigation, etc were all supposed to use combined flush-mounted antennas in the deckhouse)
  • Littoral sonar suite (SQS-60/61 and SQR-20)
  • Mk 57 PVLS
  • AGS & LRLAP
  • Advanced Land Attack Missile (ALAM)
  • more things I'm probably forgetting
So, DD-21 was basically an attempt to totally rethink every aspect of combatant ship design (both technology and processes) from the ground up, with almost zero carryover from previous designs. Which can also be said of LCS, BTW. The turn of the century was a hell of a time to be alive...

Now, compare to the DDG(X) Illustrative Design and design process that we've seen so far.

1645974560063.png

The Purple/Black (Design Enabled Improvements) and Green (baseline design) text are essentially the DDG(X) Flight I capabilities. Note how many of these are actually new to DDG(X):
  • New hullform for Arctic operations and improved seakeeping
  • Increased Endurance for Distributed Maritime Operations (DMO)
That's ALL (and the second one mostly means IPS and an optimized hullform for economy plus larger fuel bunkerage for range). Every other system proposed for that ship is already extant in 2022 or will be fielded in DDG-51 Flight III and/or FFG(X) first. All the blue text (Future Capabilities) is stuff they can add when/if it becomes available, either as a Flight II design or via backfit, thanks to the SWAP-C margin reset inherent in the new hull design. So all the whizbangs (AMDR w/ 57 RMA, FXR, Next-Gen FRES, future planar arrays, lasers, anti-torpedo torpedoes, payload modules, large missile launcher cells, etc.) can be developed in parallel but are not dependencies for the actual fielding of DDG(X) Flight I.

Combine this with the apparent return to a more conventional contract design process (hiring a designer like Gibbs & Cox directly, instead of teaming them with a shipyard), this is probably the most conservative Navy combatant shipbuilding program since the last DDGX (which became DDG-51).
 
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FighterJock

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Let's hope that the next generation Guided Missile Destroyer is not as expensive as the Zumwalt class has proven to be.

I have some rambling thoughts on DDG(X) and what it may signal for the Navy's shipbuilding effort in the wake of DD-21.

Consider the number of new weapons or technologies planned to be introduced in DD-21/DD(X). this is a partial list of the technologies that were being tested during development.
View attachment 674874

The picture isn't quite a complete list, even.
  • Tumblehome wave piercing hullform (for both stealth and seakeeping)
  • Composite deckhouse (one of the largest composite structures ever made)
  • Reducing manning (including automatic firefighting and damage control)
  • Total Ship Computing Environment (TSCE) (basically a whole new combat system architecture)
  • Common Display System (control anything from any console)
  • Integrated Power System including Permanent Magnet Motors (replaced by Advanced Induction Motors)
  • MT30 prime mover MTGs (first application, IIRC)
  • Dual-Band Radar (S-Band and X-Band with integrated waveforms)
  • Integrated apertures (comms, navigation, etc were all supposed to use combined flush-mounted antennas in the deckhouse)
  • Littoral sonar suite (SQS-60/61 and SQR-20)
  • Mk 57 PVLS
  • AGS & LRLAP
  • Advanced Land Attack Missile (ALAM)
  • more things I'm probably forgetting
So, DD-21 was basically an attempt to totally rethink every aspect of combatant ship design (both technology and processes) from the ground up, with almost zero carryover from previous designs. Which can also be said of LCS, BTW. The turn of the century was a hell of a time to be alive...

Now, compare to the DDG(X) Illustrative Design and design process that we've seen so far.

View attachment 674872

The Purple/Black (Design Enabled Improvements) and Green (baseline design) text are essentially the DDG(X) Flight I capabilities. Note how many of these are actually new to DDG(X):
  • New hullform for Arctic operations and improved seakeeping
  • Increased Endurance for Distributed Maritime Operations (DMO)
That's ALL (and the second one mostly means IPS and an optimized hullform for economy plus larger fuel bunkerage for range). Every other system proposed for that ship is already extant in 2022 or will be fielded in DDG-51 Flight III and/or FFG(X) first. All the blue text (Future Capabilities) is stuff they can add when/if it becomes available, either as a Flight II design or via backfit, thanks to the SWAP-C margin reset inherent in the new hull design. So all the whizbangs (AMDR w/ 57 RMA, FXR, Next-Gen FRES, future planar arrays, lasers, anti-torpedo torpedoes, payload modules, large missile launcher cells, etc.) can be developed in parallel but are not dependencies for the actual fielding of DDG(X) Flight I.

Combine this with the apparent return to a more conventional contract design process (hiring a designer like Gibbs & Cox directly, instead of teaming them with a shipyard), this is probably the most conservative Navy combatant shipbuilding program since the last DDGX (which became DDG-51).

Thanks for the added information TomS.
 

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Don't know why they keep those guns, Even replacing them with a pair of Mk45s would be better than just leaving them.
 

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Don't know why they keep those guns, Even replacing them with a pair of Mk45s would be better than just leaving them.

It's a puzzle. But then again, GA just tested a hypersonic defensive guided projectile from a powder gun, so the Navy may be hoping to find a way to put gun rounds back in the AGS magazines.
 

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Yes, this makes me wonder if and AGS-HVP is back on the menu, or at least the wish list.

I'm curious to see exactly what the packaging looks like. There's ample "volume" for 87-inch tubes on the ship, but exactly what they're planning isn't yet clear. I would guess just forward of the deck house, though between the AGS mounts is possible.
 

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The most recent plan for adding hypersonic weapons to the Zumwalt-class guided-missile will involve removing the two massive 155 mm Advanced Gun Systems aboard the trio of destroyers, the Zumwalt program manager told USNI News on Wednesday.

In October of next year, USS Zumwalt (DDG-1000) is expected to enter a maintenance availability that will include the removal of the two AGS from the 16,000-ton destroyer and the support systems for the guns and ammunition the destroyers were built around.

“We are removing the guns, the upper and lower gun rooms. That includes the loading system, the transfer carts, the ammo, etc.,” Capt. Matthew Schroeder, DDG 1000 program manager, Program Executive (PEO) Ships told USNI News in a Wednesday interview. “[We’re] going down about five platforms to accommodate the height of the missile, which is significantly larger than other missiles in the inventory.”

When the availability is complete in 2025, Zumwalt will be armed with the Common Hypersonic Glide Body (C-HGB) — developed for the Army, Air Force and the Navy – according to the Navy’s plan. The conventional prompt strike (CPS) concept extends a long-range strike capability for the U.S.
 

Moose

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I'm so confused lol

Did the CNO misspeak, or was he just wrong?
He was apparently briefed on an older version of the plan before he spoke about it, current planning is different. This isn't all that unusual, sadly.
 

isayyo2

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I'm so confused lol

Did the CNO misspeak, or was he just wrong?
He was apparently briefed on an older version of the plan before he spoke about it, current planning is different. This isn't all that unusual, sadly.
Not overly surprising, Flag ranks are quite reliant on their Aides for briefings. This removal of AGS plan also makes their cancellation of the hypervelocity projectile a bit more logical.
 

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